Finally it feels like they have got their lives back in some sort of order after the twins and the awkward job situation for Ben.
He was unemployed for so long it started to dig a deep hole in their finances and Susan had felt stressed out from being the only one with a decent income, especially since the twins came along. And then, to add even more drama to their lives, Ben had been fired – again.
Now he seems to be on the right track however, being an assistant to a successful lawyer. He’s happier and it makes her happier, too.
Suddenly their home life seems rather simple, for a change.
The girls are growing more independent, too, which means they’re increasingly fun to be around. Fun and exhausting, but mostly fun. Ben has been asking her if she wants another child for roughly two years now — pretty much since the girls learned how to walk and he was struck by the lack of tiny babies in his life, she presumes. She’s dodged the question so far because she doesn’t really know what her answer will be, doesn’t know if she does feel up to raising yet another little tornado. In a few years, perhaps, but Ben is here and now and points out that in a few years he might be a grandfather, which makes having infants of his own seem rather odd.
Susan sort of hopes he’ll forget all about it once he becomes a grandfather and has babies to cuddle outside of his immediate home.
For her, having twin girls feels just about enough.
These days they can play together as well as apart and that makes a huge difference, at least to Susan. Ben doesn’t really mind being on the floor with them all day long if that’s what they want, but she gets bored after half an hour of dolls and cars and plastic animals.
Now, if only someone could come up with a magical solution that made kids sleep in the mornings, too, and Susan would be the happiest woman alive.
She is happy, though. A lot of the time, at least.
One thing that’s been on her mind recently however is the lack of romance in her life. Or not lack of romance, but lack of the traditional kind of romantic journey most couples seem to have made together.
Even if meeting Ben had been about passion and instant infatuation, Susan has to admit now in hindsight that it has always been something quite sordid about the whole affair. Sordid, because Ben had been older, perhaps. Because they had been in such a hurry to solve matters in a practical kind of way. Because she’s his third wife and because his previous marriage ended with him sleeping with his former wife’s best friend.
Neither of those things fit into a romantic story. She never thought she wanted one until now, when she helps Mireia plan her upcoming wedding.
It leaves an echo in her, somewhere in there among the silly dreams made up of equal parts tradition, culture and idiocy and that thought makes her a little bit angry – mostly with herself. She’s a grown woman with two kids, she shouldn’t mope about not having been engaged and not having had time to plan a silly wedding.
Susan decides to make it the best wedding possible for Mireia and Corbin instead.
And somewhere along the way – a way crammed with purses and flower arrangements and ridiculously overpriced rings – she manages to lose most of the nostalgia for what never was, too. Because the bridal shop alone is enough to give her nightmares, let alone the idea of being forced to try on fifteen different dresses.
“They look mostly the same,” Mireia reflects, too, as they watch the endless lines of expensive clothing. “Like, is it really a different dress if it’s just in another size and with some more pearls tacked on?”
Susan grins. “That’s a philosophical debate.”
“If a wedding dress comes in a different colour than off-white or cream or lily-white or eggshell, is it truly a wedding dress?”
Mireia isn’t a typical bride when it comes to taste, so Susan has to admit she’s kind of excited to see what sort of dress she opts for in the end.
She’s in a good mood when she returns home that day and it improves even more when she finds that Ben and the girls have been decorating the house in preparation for the holidays.
“Happy holidays,” he says and pulls her into his arms underneath the mistletoe.
“Happy holidays,” Susan replies, grinning.
* This is my last update from Barchester 1.0. Next time around things will look different since I’ve trashed all of my CC and started over. For Barchester I pretty much transferred my entire Downloads folder from the old hard drive and it was about 15GB of (mostly unused) CC. Now my game loads in 60 seconds… Imagine that. 🙂